The Idol Thief
In October 2011 when New York-based antiques dealer Subhash Kapoor, the darling of the art world whose pieces can be seen in every major museum, presented his passport at immigration in Germany, he was unceremoniously whisked away into Interpol custody. India had weeks earlier issued a red-corner notice for Kapoor’s arrest after connecting him to audacious idol thefts in two Tamil Nadu temples. But when the US authorities subsequently raided Kapoor’s warehouses in New York, more skeletons came tumbling out of his closet. They recovered no less than 100 dollar million worth of stolen Indian art. This was just Kapoor’s inventory he had been in business for close to four decades and the true scale of his loot is incalculable. The US declared Kapoor one of the most prolific commodities smugglers in the world. This is the unbelievable true story of how Kapoor was caught, told by one of the men who had for years been chasing Kapoor and is still tracking idols that have passed through his hands. From complicit police officers to corrupt museum officials, from jilted girlfriends to secret inscriptions on centuries-old idols, and from two-faced academics to shady temple looters and smugglers this book has it all. Prepare to be shocked at the twenty-first century pillaging of India’s temples by a glittering cast of suave criminals.